Caving Adventure in Malaysian Borneo

Caving Adventure in Malaysian Borneo

Caving Adventure in Malaysian Borneo

08

September, 2017
Caving adventure in Sabah Borneo

Apart from going for a Wildlife and jungle trekking adventure in Malaysian Borneo, did you know that you can spend your Borneo trip by going for caving adventure? Malaysian Borneo offers some unique characteristics and stories of the caves for you to discover. Caving adventures are rated easy, intermediate, and a day tour expeditions. We can assure you that you won’t get bored to visit one of the caves in your Borneo trip!

Here’s a list of caves that you should be going for an adventure in Malaysian Borneo:

1) Fairy Cave, Bau, Sarawak Borneo

Fairy Cave took its name from the stalagmite structure that can be seen from the entrance. Fairy Cave was once a gold mining settlement of Bau, which was located about 40 km from Kuching, Sarawak.

Before reaching the entrance, get ready to exercise your feet as you will need to walk up a series of flight of stairs (about 4-storey high concrete staircase). When you go inside, you will be amazed to see the humongous size of the caves and the green moss inside it, due to the light entering the cave.

Fret not, when you enter the cave, you can manage without using a torch because it is slightly dark inside and you will be reaching into one place with a huge opening that allows the light to flood in. Unusual stalactites and stalagmites were formed over thousands of years ago.

Some said the entrance of the cave resembles like a Chinese deity, which made many Buddhist and Taoist coming there to burn joss sticks and pray for their future fortune and destiny before returning to the city. Fortunately, there is no admission to enter the cave and it is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

4-storey high staircase to reach the entrance of the cave

Light enter the cave and displays the green moss inside the cave 

2) Wind Cave, Bau, Sarawak Borneo

Entrance of the Wind Cave

Easy walkway to reach the entrance

Wind Cave is named from the cooling breeze that blows continuously throughout the cave. It is located about 48 km away from Kuching City, and only about 25 minutes drive. Wind cave is considered as an easy access to reach from Kuching and it is also a popular destination for day trips, as well as picnic excursions.

Wind Cave is not much physically demanding compared to Fairy Cave because you can just walk along at the wooden walkways to access through the Wind Caves. You can see there are many swiftlets and bats inside the Wind Cave and also you can catch a glimpse of a subterranean stream, where you can relax and picnic beside it.

Note: Make sure to bring a torch as you will be experiencing caving into pitch black tunnels (to avoid bats disturbance).

Wind Cave is part of the Nature Reserve in Sarawak Borneo. Thus, there is a nominal fee that visitors need to pay prior to entering the cave and it is open daily from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

River beside the cave

3) Deer Cave, Mulu, Sarawak Borneo

Deer Cave

Deer Cave is the largest and spectacular caves found in Borneo Island. It is home to millions of bats from various species. To reach the Deer Cave, you will need to go through a 3 km plank-walk which you can see the beauty of the Sarawak Borneo rainforest, jungle streams, and an ancient Penan tribe’s burial cave. The Deer Cave was named by the local (Penan tribe) because of few deer usually spotted in the cave for shelter. Using a torch is recommended to see the cave, examine the guano-covered-path and maybe to spot some interesting insects while walking the path. Going through the path, you will reach “Garden of Eden” ;- richer green vegetation grows there due to a hole in the cave roof that allows the light to enter.

Formation of Abraham Lincoln face near cave entrance

Apart from that, an interesting formation near the cave entrance which resembles the face of Abraham Lincoln.

Don’t miss out to visit Deer cave around 5-7pm and experience the bat exodus outside the cave.

Bats Exodus around 5-7pm outside the cave 

4) Clearwater Cave, Mulu, Sarawak Borneo

Clearwater cave inside

Using Longboat to reach the cave

Cruising on a longboat to reach the Clearwater Cave is always a good kick start of your Borneo Caving Adventure trip. The Clearwater Cave is accessed by a boardwalk which is suspended from the limestone cliff. It is also home to some of the unique species of plant which can only be found in Mulu. After going through inside the cave, you can see there is actually a clear river flowing through the cave and it will make you want to jump in for a swim. If time permitted, you can have a nice lunch picnic break by the swimming area which is shaded by huge rainforest trees outside the cave!

Clearwater river outside the cave

Clearwater cave showing the green moss

5) Gomantong Cave, Kinabatangan, Sandakan, Sabah Borneo

Gomantong cave inside

The light coming shines from the hole in the cave

Unfortunately, in Sabah Borneo, there is only one cave that is known to many, which is the Gomantong Cave. It is the largest limestone outcrop in Kinabatangan area and it is a protected area under the Sabah Forestry Department. There are two primary chamber parts of the cave system, which are Simud Hitam (Black Cave) and Simud Putih (White Cave). In the White Cave is where there are more valuable bird nests found, while the Black Cave is the only small cave that can only cover about a 5-minute walk from the registration center. Don’t worry, there is a well-maintained boardwalk for visitors to have an easy access exploring Gomantong Caves. Despite it’s home to millions of bats, there are also a number of cockroaches living inside the cave’s guano deposits which made it somehow like in a scene from the movie of The Mummy!

After reading this, are you up for the challenge to go for Caving Adventures in Malaysian Borneo? Check out our Borneo Caving Adventures Tour or you can just contact us for a once in a lifetime Caving Adventure in Malaysian Borneo!

Want to know how to backpacking in Sabah Borneo in a budget? Check out our blog post entry, hope it can help you to give some ideas for your Borneo travel itinerary.

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Go Vintage With Biru-Biru Cafe!

Go Vintage With Biru-Biru Cafe!

Go Vintage With Biru-Biru Cafe!

06

September, 2017
Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

The stunning vintage setup of Biru-Biru Cafe

If you’re looking for a good place to have your dinner or just to chill with a couple of cold beers in Kota Kinabalu City, I highly suggest that you check out the Biru-Biru Cafe in Jalan Dewan, Gaya Street. 

The Biru-Biru cafe is really something and their vintage style setup is really different from any other cafes that you will find here in Kota Kinabalu. Not only the interiors will amaze you but the foods that they serve there is also super amazing.

Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

The super cool Vintage Setup!

Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

The walls of the Cafe is well decorated with Vintage Posters and even the tables and chairs has a very vintage touch to it

Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

This cafe might look different and to some people it may look too simple for their taste but let me tell you a little history about this cafe and why it is out of the ordinary. This cafe has a history in Kota Kinabalu as this building has been there since the second World War. Back in 1945, the building is called ‘Biru-Biru” and today it is called Biru-Biru Cafe. During the second World War, on the very same spot where the Biru-Biru Cafe stands is a campsite for the Alliance. This building is actually used for printing press back in the days and later adapted to other functions. The name of Biru-Biru cafe is also inspired by a famous local song called “Sayang Kinabalu’ which uses the Line ‘Biru-Biru’.

Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu
Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

The Entertaining Local and International performers

Biru-Biru Cafe also holds a monthly open mic session where local performers can show their talents and sing their hearts out to the guests. Not only locals but also international performers will get the chance to perform for the good people of Kota Kinabalu and tourists. Biru-Biru Cafe sure is a place to chill and enjoy some music with friends and family.

Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

Biru-Biru Cafe serves a wide variety of food for you to try, and not only food, but they also serve a good selection of cocktails, and beers, so pick your poison. Top it up with local ‘Pusas’ a local name for tidbits to be eaten while drinking alcoholic beverages. Usually deep fried fish called ‘Basung’, a famous dish amongst the locals here and at Biru Biru Cafe. Deep fried and add a squeeze of lemons to add the flavours to it. You can eat the whole fish without the worry to debone it because it is fried to perfection and the bones will be crispy for safe consumption.

Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

The Fried Basung with Slices of Lemons, a match made in heaven. Top it up with a couple of cold beers, Terbaik! (Local term meaning, “The Best!”)

Have a look at the menu, and you will find that they have a lot of variety of infused local flavours and recipes. An ingredient that stands out is ‘Tuhau’ or in English stands for Wild Ginger– fascinatingly featured in some of their dishes.Tuhau is a type of Wild Ginger, diced and mixed with other ingredients and left to ferment. It has a rather distinctive smell and flavor and truth be told, it takes some getting used to! Biru Biru stays true to its local specialty and is featured in their battered fish or spicy beef taco, topped with tomato, cheddar and tuhau salsa. If you are into Pasta, Biru-Biru Cafe has their own signature dish where Italian meets Sabahan in their Tomato Tuhau Pasta with chicken – easily one of their bestsellers. An all-time favourite is their Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken as well as the Corned Beef Ikan Masin Fried Rice (Ikan Masin is salted fish – another must-have in local kitchens). Also noteworthy is the Grilled Chicken and Pumpkin Sandwich, served with a side of fries and the Coconut Pasta with Grilled Prawns.

Biru-Biru Cafe | Food in Kota Kinabalu

Some of the mouth watering dishes that Biru-Biru Cafe serves. Feeling hungry yet? Hehe..

One of their signature drink is also a must-try, it’s a local infused cocktail called the Fee-Lihing-Good which is a local rice wine infused cocktail and the taste is just like the name.

Next time if you’re looking for a good place to have your dinner, remember that Biru-Biru Cafe is just around the corner (well, more like at the back of Kota Kinabalu City area). Grab a bunch of friends and family together with you and enjoy!

Or maybe… you are looking for a taste of traditional food in Sabah, then head out to D’Place Kinabalu to taste the local traditional food in Sabah Borneo. Read our blog entry on our experience having local traditional food in D’Place Kinabalu!

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Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

11

July, 2017

On 31st May 2017, I got the opportunity to experience Sabah’s yearly event, which is Harvest Festival or Kaamatan, which is held at Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA), Penampang. There are so many of people from all walks of life, including foreign visitors, who thronged to KDCA to witness and enjoy the celebration.

Apart from that, there were many vendors and information booths, which includes those put up by government departments, and various happenings being held in KDCA, such as the traditional games, cultural dance, and more.  

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

A group of bobohizan performing a ritual to officiate the Kaamatan celebration.

Before I share my experience, let me explain to you what is Harvest Festival or Kaamatan. Harvest Festival or Kaamatan is the major festival of Sabah, which is celebrated annually, every 30th – 31st of May. However, it is widely celebrated throughout Sabah for the month of May, especially among the Kadazandusun tribe ( the largest indigenous ethnic group in Sabah). Harvest Festival or Kaamatan is a celebration to signify the beginning of the harvest of rice crops, and the Bobohizan (the female shamans of Sabah), played a major role in officiating the celebration.

It is also believed that the Harvest Festival is especially celebrated for the sacrifice of Kinoingan’s only daughter, Huminodun, for the love of her people, in order to stop famine. Huminodun’s body was cut into small pieces and it is believed her spirit is embodied in the rice and therefore known as Bambarayon or Bambazon.

Now, back to my story! 🙂

I went there in the morning and it was crowded with locals and tourists celebrating together on this event. Although it was crowded there, I still wanted to go around KDCA area, especially going into the traditional houses to see the unique cultural dances and costumes. That was considered my favorite part of this event because it really made me feel in awe watching the dance performances and different types of traditional outfits. Somehow, I feel like I wanted to wear my own traditional costume and walk around as well (hahaha!). However, I only got the chance to capture photos of locals wearing their own traditional attire.

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Traditional Dance Dusun Ranau

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Sabah’s Kadazandusun Culture. Photo by: Agustine Jumat

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

A group of Dusun Tindal of Sabah. Photo by: riveldo

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

One of the Kadazandusun smaller ethnic groups

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Murut Ethnic

Walking around the KDCA area, you will never miss hearing the Kaamatan songs or the sound of gongs. Not only that, you can see some people sang Kadazandusun karaoke songs, lots of dancing, and of course, drinking session – the focus of the event for all. There were so many food vendors there, which means a variety of food this year than ever before.

The smell of roasting meats, followed by a waft of smoke move through the air, it was no doubt the smell of smoked wild boar, lamb barbecue, traditional dishes, satay meats, burgers, fresh grilled seafood, fried foods, cute shapes of Pau, alcoholic beverages, and best of all, there were pork meats everywhere! Want to know how local Kadazandusun traditional looks like? click “Traditional Sabah Food that makes you drool”.

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Cute shapes of Pau.

Fried Squid

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Roast Chickens

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

Pork Meats

Kaamatan Celebration in KDCA 2017

A local playing bamboo musical instrument

Moving on to the outdoor stage nearby, there were traditional games such as tug of war rope, arm wrestling, blow piping, stilt walking, and more, which provides a glimpse of how local spend their pastimes, as well as to entertain visitors. I did not manage to go to the KDCA Hall to watch the grand finale of Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Festival Beauty Pageant) because we need to buy the entrance fee ticket. So, I have to let go my decision to see Unduk Ngadau and continue going around the KDCA area.

One thing that fascinated me the most was the celebration of Harvest Festival or Kaamatan was happening during the beginning of Ramadan and it was raining in the evening, but the flow of visitors coming to KDCA did not stop, nor did it hinder our Malay friends to come over for the celebration as well! Apart from that, celebrating this event was truly a time for a reunion, because I was able to meet and get together with some of my longtime friends, school or childhood friends, which I did not see in my regular basis.

Check out the video below on how the celebration looks like on that day. 🙂

To know more about Harvest Festival or Kaamatan, feel free to read other blog entry on “Kaamatan Harvest Festival of Sabah, Borneo

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Desa Dairy Cattle Farm, Mesilau Highlands of Kundasang

Desa Dairy Cattle Farm, Mesilau Highlands of Kundasang

Desa Dairy Cattle Farm, Mesilau Highlands of Kundasang

07

July, 2017

If you’re planning a trip up to the Kundasang Highlands, there is a place that you shouldn’t miss visiting when you’re in Kundasang. Above the Highlands of Kundasang is the Desa Dairy Cattle Farm. 

If you’re planning a trip up to the Kundasang Highlands, there is a place that you shouldn’t miss visiting when you’re in Kundasang. Above the Highlands of Kundasang is the Desa Dairy Cattle Farm. If you ask me, I’d say it’s more than just your ordinary Cattle Farm as the place has one of the best views of Mount Kinabalu overlooking the green pastures and also the cool breeze and air to add up to the package. It’s not only about the beautiful panoramic views, you can also get the chance to experience first hand on how they milk the cows and process the milk.

Not to forget that you can also buy the freshly processed milk, a variety of cheese, and goat milk yogurts and the best part is, the delicious gelato ice cream. Head down from the main building and head straight to the feeding pen and feed the cute calves and goats. Trust me, if you are bringing your children, they’ll love it. In my opinion, the Desa Cattle Farm is one of the best places that I’ve visited so far. It is not only fun but it is also educational at the same time and for me, it is totally worth it!. So next time if you’re planning to head up to Kundasang, put the Desa Cattle Farm on your list as my words can’t fully describe on what I have experienced there, so I suggest that you should experience it for yourself.

Desa Dairy Cattle Farm

One of the amazing view of Mount Kinabalu at the Desa Cattle Farm. Nice right?

Sample some of the finest milks, yogurts and gelato ice cream in Sabah

You buy the Desa products here at the mini shop.

One of the activities there is you can feed the calf with a bottle of milk.

You can even get close to the calf. Don’t worry, they won’t bite…

To know more what you can do in Ranau, feel free to read our blog on “Don’t Miss this when you are in Ranau

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7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

06

July, 2017

Sabah is known for its reputation of being one of the worlds’ beautiful places, due to its naturally dense rainforest, tropical islands, and colorful cultural. While visiting Sabah, the eco-natural activities are not the only main reason for travelers to discover the beauty of Sabah. The historical buildings in Sabah are also one of the main factors that make it an amazing holiday destination trip.

No matter if you are a tourist or local who wants to get a dose of history from the past, it’s always good to know a thing or two about the history of the city that you are currently in. Check out the list below for my suggestion of historical buildings in Sabah that you should visit.

1. Sabah Tourism Board

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Old photo of Jesselton Post Office

Old Post Office Building, now is Sabah Tourism Board Building

One of the oldest building in Kota Kinabalu city. It is formerly known as Jesselton Post Office during the World War II (WWII), and it is fortunate enough to not be destroyed by the 1945 allied bombing in the Jesselton area back then. The Sabah Tourism Board building will be exactly 100 years old next year since its opening was officiated by governor Mr. Pearson on March 16, 1918.

2. Atkinson Clock Tower

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

The original look of Atkinson Clock Tower ( Photo by: Heritage Sabah)

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Atkinson Clock Tower now.

It is located on the bluff along the Signal Hill Road which is overlooking the capital city of Sabah. It used to be known as Atkinson Memorial Clock Tower, as it was built in the memory of Jesselton’s first district officer who died of Malaria at the age 28, Francis George Atkinson. The construction of Atkinson Clock Tower is unique because it is an all-wood and no-nails structure built by people of the past. The clock tower was used as a shipping navigation landmark in the 1900s, but now it serves as helping locals to be conscious of the local time in Sabah in order to assist them in their daily chores.

3. Deparment of Social Welfare

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Old Social Welfare building(Image source : TH YEE)

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Department of Social Welfare became an unofficial street art gallery.

It was constructed between 1918 – late 1920s, and it is one of the British Colonial building that survived in the 1945 allied bombing. It used to be Lands and Survey Department Building but was later changed to Department of Social Welfare. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire on December 31, 1992, and there is no development since then. In 2010, it became an un-official Street Art Graffiti Gallery, where the local artist used it as a canvas to express their art creativity, as well as preserving the historical site.

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4. Jesselton Hotel

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Picture of Jesselton Hotel on 28th November 1961.

(Photo source: Jabatan Penerangan Sabah)

Department of Social Welfare became an unofficial street art gallery.

Jesselton Hotel is the oldest and first modern hotel built after the World War II (WWII). Following the devastation of Jesselton town ( known as Kota Kinabalu now) at the end of WWII, Sir Herbert Ralph Hone, as the Colonial Governor of Jesselton, encouraged the British Hong Kong Chinese businessmen to invest and rebuild the Jesselton town area. Thus, the hotel was built in 1954 at Gaya Street and it attracts locals and tourists’ attention because of the structure building that gives a little touch of colonial and its doorman wearing a colonial uniform.

5. St. Michael’s and All Angels Church, Sandakan

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Old photo of St. Michael’s and All Angels Church, Sandakan

St. Michael’s and All Angels Church, Sandakan today.

The oldest stone church building in Sabah, and also a part of Sandakan Heritage Trails which connects few historical sights and monuments in Sandakan. The building was first constructed using ironwood timber, then followed by bricks, and finally stone. The church took more than 30 years to complete, started in 1893 and completed in 1906. The church manage to avoided major damage during WWII in the 1940s, and served as a resting place for Prisoners of War(POWs) who trekked the Sandakan Death March.

6. Agnes Keith House, Sandakan 

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Agnes Keith House, Sandakan

Agnes Keith is an American author, who wrote her life experience in North Borneo (now – Sabah). Her house was once a British Colonial Government Quarters, called Newlands, and now it is one of the famous landmarks in Sandakan. Agnes Keith and her family lived in the house until 1942 and came back to Borneo again after the WWII. However, they realised the house was burnt down due to the war and they rebuilt the house from scratch with the same design as the old one. Agnes Keith and her family continued to live there until they left Sabah in 1952. Today, the house was restored back after 50 years by Sabah Museum and opened for public in 2004. The house now turned into a museum portraying the life Agnes Keith and her family through documents, pictures, and portraits. Moreover, the house was furnished with colonial furniture and genuine antiques, which makes you feel like a step back in time to British colonial era.

7. Bellfry or Bell Tower, Tawau 

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Bellfry Tower in 1949. Photo source by e-tawau.

7 historical buildings in Sabah that you need to visit

Bellfry Tower today. Photo source by e-tawau.

The Belfry was constructed in 1921 by the prison labour, and it is the only historical building in Tawau to survive the WWII. It was built to commemorate the signing of Armistice following the World War I in 1918, when Japan was an ally of Great Britain. The bell tower was used to indicate the time back then, and the hours rung at intervals by the police guard. However, there is no bell in the bell tower now and it became a mystery in Tawau history.

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KAAMATAN LEGEND TO REALITY

KAAMATAN LEGEND TO REALITY

KAAMATAN LEGEND TO REALITY

29

May, 2017

Kotobian Tadau Tagazo do Kaamatan!

It’s that time of year again! Where everyone, near and far, young and old, gather together to celebrate Kaamatan or in English, Harvest Festival. It’s a celebration held annually in Sabah that has been on going for a long time. One of the most anticipated event of the year in Sabah, Kaamatan is more than just having fun together with your loved ones or catching up with long lost friends, it is to signify the beginning of harvest for all farmers in Sabah. That’s the gist of it. 

Kaamatan legend to reality

There is actually a legend behind the reason why the Kadazan Dusun community celebrates Harvest Festival like there’s no tomorrow. Long time ago, Kinoingan and his people were caught in famine. Not only crops were dying, but women and children were dying due to starvation. Huminodun, daughter of Kinoingan was sad and disheartening to see the villagers and her father wrecking his head trying to find a solution.

Huminodun was the most beautiful women anyone has ever laid eyes on. Not only was she breathtaking, she was wise beyond her age that many people from near and far adored her. Men would stop whatever they were doing whenever she passed by them and fall in love with her instantaneously.

Kinoingan knew his last hope to save his people was to sacrifice a maiden of pure heart and mind to Mother Nature for harvest and food to his people. Huminodun, with no fear, offered herself to save her father’s people from famine. Kinoingan was against the idea of course, but Huminodun never changed her grounds and persuaded her father. After awhile, with a heavy heart, Kinoingan agreed. Clearing the land with his supernatural powers, he cleared the land so big you couldn’t see the end of it. The time came for Huminodun’s body to be a sacrifice to Mother Nature.

Walking slowly to the cleared land with her head held high, Huminodun walked before everyone with Kinoingan walking several feet behind. Suminundu, Huminodun’s mother, was weeping beside herself together with the villagers and their children, sadden to see such beauty and kind-heartedness do such a huge sacrifice in order for them to live on and have a future.

Kaamatan legend to reality

Digital artwork called Huminodun by Sabah-born artist Yee I-Lann. 

Huminodun arrived in the middle of the cleared land and turned around to face her father, Kinoingan, and said, “My body will give life to many plants for the people; my flesh turn to rice; my head, coconut trees; my bones, to be tapioca; my knees, yam; my teeth, corn; and my toes, ginger. Follow these steps and our people will never come to the point of starvation anymore”, said Huminodun to her father.

Huminodun warned her father to follow several rules to a tee. The rules are, when her body parts have been scattered all over the cleared land, nobody is to come and see her for seven days and seven nights. Once the paddy (rice) has ripened, seven stalks of paddy are to be taken and tied to one end of a spliced bamboo and planted at the center of the paddy field before harvesting any of the paddies. After doing this, only can they start harvesting. After the harvest is done, the bamboo stick with the seven paddy stalks is to be placed in a tangkob (paddy storage container). All work put in during the first day of harvest is to be kept in the Kakanan (big jar). All first-year harvest are not to be given away to anyone, and let any remaining paddy grains turn bad (which is why, to this day, Kadazan Dusun community has never given away their first year’s harvest). However, you can do anything you want to the second year harvest. 

Kinoingan agreed to Huminodun’s instructions. With a heavy heart, he proceeded to sacrifice his only daughter. As he sacrificed her, the sky turned black, there was lightning all around and thunder clapping from near and far, the earth below him shook and rumbled. The rain came pouring down like never before, soaking the earth with its moisture and washing away all the past torments Mother Nature has given them. Life was reborn. As told by Huminodun, plants of many sorts began to grow where her blood and flesh touched the soil.

That year, Kinoingan and his people saw a great harvest that never in their life had they ever seen before. In respect of Huminodun’s wishes, Kinoingan did exactly as what Huminodun requested. The seven paddy stalks were to honor the seven Bambaazon, the paddy spirit. As for the paddy in the Kakanan (big jar), a beautiful maiden rose out from the jar on the seventh day. She was the beautiful Huminodun, resurrected as a spirit to help and care for her people. She was called Unduk Ngadau. It was her spirit that first taught and guided the Bobohizan (high priestesses) in their chants and rituals, and that is how the spiritual traditions of our people begun. 

This is the reason why Kaamatan Festival plays such a vital role in each Sabahan native’s hearts. The main part of Kaamatan Festival is to honor the legendary Huminodun, who gave up her life in order for her people to survive. Hence why Unduk Ngadau Beauty Pageant plays a grand part during Harvest Festival. It is to commemorate Huminodun’s everlasting youth, selflessness, beauty, and love for her father’s people. It is a sacred title and great honor to be dubbed as the next Unduk Ngadau winner as she will represent the whole essence of Huminodun. Her gift to us all remains in our hearts to remind us the importance of sincerity, bravery, caring, selflessness, and love.

Kaamatan legend to reality
Kaamatan legend to reality

Interested to know more on Kaamatan or Harvest Festival? Come and join us to celebrate this yearly event of Sabah together in Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) Sabah on 30th – 31st May. For more inquiry, feel free to contact us here.

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